In 2019, singer-songwriter Abigail Osborn was earning her degree in music business from Belmont University when she started to daydream in her classes about actually being a musician. So she did what any ambitious songwriter living in Nashville would do: She dropped out of school to pursue songwriting full-time. No longer having to skip out on meetings with publishers and producers to go to math class, she dove into the music world.
Osborn grew up in Thornton, Colorado, where she learned to play guitar at fifteen and performed at her church. At seventeen, she started writing songs, and she played her first show at the Moon Room at Summit Music Hall not long after. Although she was young and relatively inexperienced, the Denver music scene welcomed her with open arms.
She moved to Nashville in the fall of 2019 to attend Belmont, and even before dropping out, she became swept up in the scene, loving a city where songwriting is a real day job for a lot of people — and now for her.
The 22-year-old is currently making a living as a full-time songwriter. Aside from her own music, companies send her storylines or briefs for stories, and she creates a short song or jingle for them at her home studio.
"Monday through Friday, I am booked writing," she says. "It’s like a normal day job."
But she's more passionate about her own music. She released her first single, "Drive All Night," in February. If you are a fan of the pop hits "Driver's License," by Olivia Rodrigo, or "Overdrive," by Conan Gray, buckle up and add this one to your playlist.
The song is about someone from Colorado whom Osborn has a lot of history with. "We don’t have the healthiest relationship, and there are a lot of elephants in the room," Osborn explains. "Instead of talking, we’d just go on long drives. I’m super-concerned with how I’m spending my time, but when I’m with that person, it can never be a waste of time."
Her upcoming single, "Break My Heart," has a totally different vibe from "Drive All Night." The song, which drops Friday, April 30, is about Osborn's tendency to get into relationships with guys who won't commit. She recently met someone and immediately thought, "This guy is just like everyone else." She knew the time with that person would likely result in nothing and he might break her heart, but she was content to let it happen.
"If you're gonna break my heart, let's make it a good time," she sings in the song.
She says the song is all about female empowerment and flipping conventional roles in which women are being played and hurt by naive, non-committal men; instead, the woman in this song finally takes control of the dynamic.
The music video, which comes out May 7, was shot in a completely pink house. She and her friends dance around in pink outfits with heart-shaped cookies and champagne. "It gives the visual of 'I’m in control; I can make this a good time if I want to,'" she says.
Osborn's songs are inspired by the deep waves of emotion that accompany her experiences. "I take really specific feelings and pinpoint them," she says. "In my third song coming out, called 'Easy Love,' it’s all about the emotion of me not liking a person back when they like me, ’cause I can never make love easy."
Another song she wrote that will appear on an upcoming project came to her as she was sitting on the patio of a Nashville coffee shop that she and someone she dated used to frequent. As she sat there, the guy showed up with someone else. As she watched them get coffee together, the thought running through her head was: "I want this person to miss me, but they're clearly doing just fine."
She went home and wrote the song "Miss Me" on her guitar. She takes lyrical inspiration from songwriters Julia Michaels, JP Saxe and John Mayer, even sporting a square tattoo on the back of her ankle as an ode to the Mayer album Room for Squares. But lyrically, she is one of a kind.
Osborn captures the chaotic, non-committal and short-lived nature of relationships in which people of her generation often find themselves. Sonically, she is right on target with the bedroom-pop anthems that have captured the experience as well.
"I want my songs to be the ones you could play over the credits in an indie movie," says Osborn.
"Break My Heart" will be out on all streaming platforms on April 30. Go to Abigail Osborn's website for more information.
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